Stein is Running to Build the Green Party Future
Third Party/Green Party Candidate Jill Stein is making no apologies. She’s going after Bernie Sanders supporters. The effort is being somewhat hampered by Bernie Sanders’ plead to his supporters to switch their allegiance to Hillary Clinton. Some say, no, the movement is bigger than one man. Others say, don’t let “perfection” be the enemy of the good.
Actually, that’s pretty much what Hillary said on March 30: “Some folks may have the luxury to hold out for ‘the perfect,'” reads the tweet. “But a lot of Americans are hurting right now and they can’t wait for that.” In other words, it’s time to settle.
Bernie agreed, even speaking for Hillary at the convention. Instead of focusing only on his “revolution,” he became partisan.
We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger – not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans – and divides us up.
By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.
We wonder how much influence Bernie will have over his “revolution.”
“A lot of us waited with bated breath, wondering: what’s he going to do?” [Sanders supporter Vanessa Tijerina] said. “Because depending on what he did, that’s where the movement was either going to go or not go. He decided to stay there, and the movement can’t stay there. It cannot stay in a centrist environment. The movement is antagonising that environment so we can’t stay there.”. . .
“To me the Green party was the only other option,” Tijerina said in a conference room at the University of Houston. “There’s just no way that anything centre or right of centre was going to get America where it needed to be.”. . .
“I really can’t tell who or what Donald Trump is,” [Carlos Martinez, 40, an activist from Texas] said, “but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be fear-baited into supporting Hillary Clinton and I don’t think that the majority of Sanders supporters are scared to vote their conscience and they’re going to be fear-mongered into pulling the lever for somebody that’s against their own interests.”
Candidate Stein actually showed up in Philadelphia during the Democratic convention, hoping to reach out to disappointed Sanders fans.
Angry Bernie Sanders backers have a new rallying cry: “Jill not Hill.”
That’s Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Her liberal agenda of tuition-free college, $15-per-hour minimum wage and a renewable energy economy by 2030 offers a home to Sanders’ supporters unwilling to back Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Stein is a 66-year-old doctor and political activist from Massachusetts who like Clinton was raised in a Chicago suburb.
And Stein is having some impact. Her goal is not to win. It’s to grab the five percent of the vote that would qualify her party for federal funding in 2020.
The Green Party is predicting it will be on the most state ballots in its history. And Stein is getting more media coverage than any Green since 2000 nominee Ralph Nader, having just secured a prime-time CNN town hall for August 17. . .
Stein. . .failed to earn a bounce out of the Democratic convention, despite considerable effort to grab a share of the spotlight. Hoping to amplify Democratic divisions, she made regular appearances at downtown rallies, whipping up those “Jill, not Hill” chants with the help of celebrity Sanders supporter Cornel West. Some Sanders delegates even held up Stein signs on the convention floor. . .
But let’s not write off the Greens too soon. Remember: The Green Party’s objective is not to spoil for the sake of spoiling; it’s to win at least 5 percent of the popular vote. That threshold would qualify the Green Party for public campaign funds to use in the 2020 presidential campaign that party officials estimate would amount to more than $10 million. With a more reliable funding stream, the Green Party would be more able to retain the far left slice of the electorate, and become a perennial thorn in the Democratic side.
Some say Stein should avoid appearing to be a “spoiler” who will weaken Hillary and give the election to Trump. While Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson is working to get the 15% that would get him on the debate stage, Stein’s goal is more modest. She just wants the “five percent” to get federal funding next time, and if she gets those votes in deep red and deep blue states—she won’t change the outcome.
We all know the spoiler story about the 2000 election with Ralph Nader and Al Gore. Some Democrats are still sore about it. Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t sure how to vote right now. Many dislike Hillary but fear any other vote helps Trump. The question is: When is it justified to vote for a third party candidate?
It all boils down to making your vote count. In South Carolina, we have a big voice in the primaries, being first in the South. Unfortunately, after that it’s pretty much over. Republicans always win here and the presidential election is winner-take-all for each state.
This means a vote for Hillary in South Carolina is no different than just skipping that question on the ballot.
In other words, if you live in New York, California, or Massachusetts, Hillary doesn’t need your vote. And if you live in Oklahoma, Alabama, or West Virginia, loss of your vote won’t be missed at all. That’s how to make Green votes count, without being blamed if Trump wins.
Cosmopolitan offered seven things you should know about Jill Stein, edited for space.
1. This isn’t her first time running for president.
2. She’s a doctor.
3. She thinks she can win over the “Bernie or bust” voters.
4. She even invited Sanders to take her place on the ticket.
5. She has a lot in common with Sanders.
6. You [won’t] see her in the debates.
7. Some people are mad about her campaign.
–Columnist Dan Savage criticized Stein’s run on his podcast, Savage Lovecast, arguing that her run helps bolster Trump, because those Sanders votes could be going to help Clinton beat the Republican nominee. “You are essentially, if you’re voting for Jill Stein, helping to potentially elect Donald J. Trump president of these United States,” he said. “Which would be a catastrophe.”
What’s Stein’s response to this warning? It’s best described by this campaign button: